Boygroup EXO recently appeared in the special number of Sports Seoul about ‘The Future of K-Pop’ in commemoration of its foundation and has been picked as the next generation’s representative idol group.
These 12 people who were split in half to promote both in Korea (EXO-K) and in China (EXO-M) are back together. Since they turned into a ‘complete group’ they showed a fierce star-like popularity as soon as they released their new song.
One year after their debut, their first full album ‘XOXO(Kiss&Hug)’ consecutively ranked first three times on different music programs with their title song ‘Wolf’ just 10 days after its release.
The 12 members’ performances are wild and powerful, making them particularly outstanding.
After receiving the 1st place trophee, leader Suho sadly shedded tears. “At first Suho cried, then Kai, and Lay sobbed in the waiting room…. we all ended up crying. Sehun’s tears fell in big drops.”
EXO claimed that their strenuous days marked by inner struggles swept past them like kaleidoscopic images. This notion reached out particularly to the members whose training periods were the longest.
While there are members who have spent 6 years in training, there are others whose time as trainees was rather short, such as Baekhyun and Chen, who trained for 4 months each. For these two, the feeling was different. They said, “(More than winning first place), we were happiest when we entered SM as trainees because it was our childhood dream to become singers, and being accepted as trainees felt like we had taken that crucial first step to make that dream come to life.” One of them added, “And after we became EXO, we just felt like we’ve come this much further”.
After this, Kai said “Baekhyun hyung and Chen hyung both had short training periods so when we won they were both happy yet sorry at the same time. It might be because they thought their efforts were smaller than the other members’. But if they weren’t here we wouldn’t have been able to debut. I wish they could enjoy it with us.”
The image of these vigorous 20~24-year-old men unexpectedly taking care of each other’s feelings was impressive. But honestly they get goosebumps because of each other. “When the 12 of us sit and talk about serious things all together we get really embarrassed. Hahaha.”
Because twelve members and four managers live together in a dorm, there is bound to be many uncomfortable aspects. However, as if it was obvious, they unanimously explained “We abide by what we have to and we live like a family.” They continued, “If a lot, it’s a four year difference, but we respect even if the person is one year older. Although because we had a long trainee period so we are like a family and it’s harmonious, we abide by what we have too. Also if we continuously used honorifics for 4~5 years while we were trainees and suddenly we stop because we became one team, it’d be awkward. There are some members who formed together before debut so we’re very friendly but we still use honorifics.”
We thought there would exist a delicate hierarchy in the world of men, but Kris, who happens to be one of the oldest, lightened the atmosphere by saying “I’ll accept your informal speech if you say it in English”. Chinese-born but selected in Canada, Kris is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese. On the other hand, while fellow Chinese members Tao and Lu Han are not fluent in Korean, they impressed us when they were able to differentiate between formal and informal speech among the four languages the members use amongst themselves.
When they get asked to talk a little they all talk at once here and there so it can sometimes get out of control. To these they proudly replied “We don’t have time to get bored”. It’s even more noticeable with Chanyeol’s voice, when he opens his mouth you can’t help but hear him.
“Chanyeolie is in charge of voice within the team. Because he’s also the atmosphere maker, he makes things noisy at times as well.”, “The manager hyungs get tired. They also tell me to sit in the way back in the car if possible. They say it’s because my voice is so loud. Have a rich powerful voice is a good thing.”
Although it may seem like they’re slightly talking ill of one another, it a brotherly side that we see while they compliment each other’s positive points. Also, because they are twelve members, how reassured must they be?
“We like sports so it’s nice to be able to split into two exact teams.”, “After the twelve members came to live together, the fun of having birthday parties is great. Especially because at the beginning of the year there are a lot of birthdays grouped together, we had seven birthday parties till May. Last month, Tao’s birthday was fun. While he was showering, we took a cake to him but because he was completely naked, it’s a shame we couldn’t take a photo of him blowing out the candles. Hahaha.”
D.O is good at cooking, Lay is good at playing instruments, Xiumin is like an alarm, waking the members up each morning…. It is hard to recite each and every one, but because each of the twelve members have their own individuality and speciality, who is the member who the others are most envious of? “Maknae Sehun is the most popular amongst the noonas. I think he knows the way to gain love from the noonas. I think he uses the title of being the maknae. BoA noona likes him and the Girl’s Generation noonas like him as well. Because noonas like Sehun the most, he is the one I’m most envious of.”
Likewise, it seems impossible not to melt female fans’ hearts with wolf cries melded with charms that EXO, grouped with pleasant young men, cannot deny. It seems predictable that EXO’s fatal popularity will increase immensely with each member’s individual charms.